We’re told so many terrible things about aging as we grow older, instead of learning to celebrate the years. We hear how our health will decline and we will become a burden upon society. We’re told our memories will go and our bodies will fall apart. But no one tells us that believing something can actually make it happen.
When older people are told they’re a burden, they begin to feel worthless. It cuts away at their self esteem and makes them pessimistic about their future. They notice the aches and pains more than they did before, mostly because of other people’s attitudes towards them. They see the signs of aging more clearly instead of looking at the good things.
Get rid of those old stereotypes. An 80 year old can now have the physical health of many 20 year olds. Seniors are taking up new hobbies and interests that keep them in excellent physical shape and help their minds stay active at the same time. Though many seniors do develop chronic illnesses, with a little help they are more than capable of managing on their own.
Many older people will tell you that their lives have become easier as they aged. Society has changed and seniors now have more options than they once did. They select goals to work toward and make sure that their time is spent in meaningful ways. This change in attitude, from one of pessimism to optimism, goes a long way in aging well.
Communities need to help seniors celebrate their lives and their accomplishments. They need to show them the ways that they have contributed over the years and continue to contribute. Housing should be changed to reflect this new way of living, one that helps seniors to age well instead of shutting them away in tiny spaces where they can’t enjoy their time with others.